OK. I’m about to give away a secret. I’ve been told by countless people…”Oh my goodness, Robert, you’re so good at following up!”
And, the truth be told, I DO make it a priority. Am I perfect at it? No, but I do believe that follow-up really is the lifeblood of your business. Before you SELL SELL SELL, you have to develop a RELATIONSHIP RELATIONSHIP ‘REAL’ATIONSHIP. No, that was not a misspelling. The relationship has to be real. It can’t be an I’m-just-talking-to-you-because-you’re-gonna-give-me-money relationship. It’s got to be genuine. Yes, there may be money involved at some point and both of you might know this. But, you know the old adage…people do business with those they know, like and trust. So, developing a REALationship is important.
Here’s another truth. I’m still working at this. As a natural introvert, it is always a conscious effort to follow up, to make phone calls and to share authentic statements with people. So, one of the ways that I create some consistency is to use a system, a tool. Yes, I use tools to help me follow-up. There…I said it! I do remember people and I cherish relationships. But, I use systems to help me keep ahead of things.
These days, the BIGGEST follow-up tool in my arsenal is Contactually. I used to use other CRMs but I found them clunky until I came across Contactually. I get that different tools work well for different people but THIS tool is one that I see myself staying with for quite some time.
When I log in to my Contactually Dashboard, the first thing that I see is the list of people that need to follow up with that day as well as the tasks that I need to complete related to specific contacts.
This takes out all of the guesswork. The followups suggestions are generated automatically by Contactually but based on settings that I create. Contactually has groups that it refers to as Buckets. I set specific follow-up settings for each bucket and Contactually then takes those settings to help remind me when to keep in touch with these people.
Although I’ve purposely blurred out the names of the people in my buckets, you can see that Contactually places a green marker by the names of the people that I’ve done well about following up with and red by those that I need to reach out to. So, in addition to the Dashboard, there are multiple visual indicators of who I need to connect with.
No, here is a piece of things that I love but I’m almost ashamed to admit. Are you ready? I set some of my contacts into programs. What is a program, exactly? Well, essentially it is a series of autoresponders that I may set up for one of my buckets. I KNOW! GASP!!
Here’s why this is helpful for me. I’m able to remind myself to perform certain actions and I’m also able to share valuable content with people fairly automatically.
As my list of contacts grow, I need to be able to connect with them and touch them in multiple ways. I do this through social media, through my mailing list, via phone and via email.
I don’t want to make this long so I will not review every part of Contactually in this post. But, I will say that without it, I would still be trudging through a stack of business cards and a spreadsheet on my desk, trying to remember who I had reached out to recently.
So, now you know my secret. I’m not a genius. Yet, Contactually makes me a follow-up ROCK STAR!
What’s YOUR secret system? Is there something that you use to make you better? Share it in the comments. I’d love to see what you are using.
P.S. – I love Contactually so much that I became an affiliate. So, the links in this post are affiliate links. Just wanted you to know.